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3 Big Things Today, December 23

Soybeans, Corn Slightly Lower in Overnight Trading; Export Sales Down But Still Decent

1. Soybeans, Corn Slightly Lower on Last Trading Day Before Christmas

Soybeans and corn were slightly lower in overnight trading on the last trading day before the Christmas break as more rain is forecast in South American growing areas.

About 2 inches of rain are expected in parts of the Argentina growing states of Cordoba and Buenos Aires, aiding soybeans and corn in the same areas where rain fell last week, Commodity Weather Group said in a report.

Showers are expected to shift tonight, improving conditions for the 30% of soybeans and corn that are still dry in the country, CWG said.

Brazil crops also will get rain as showers continue in the center-west and center-south growing regions, the forecaster said. There is still a chance that dryness will build in Bahia, which includes about 10% to 15% of Brazil’s corn and soybeans.

Soybean futures for January delivery fell ½ cent to $9.94 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soymeal declined 70 cents to $312.60 a short ton, and soy oil rose 0.20 cent to 35.29 cents a pound.

Corn futures for March delivery fell a penny to $3.46 ¼ a bushel in Chicago.

Wheat futures for March delivery was unchanged at $3.97 a bushel overnight. Kansas City wheat was down ½ cent to $4.07 ½ a bushel.

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2. Corn, Bean Sales Down Week-to-Week, Still Relatively Strong as Wheat Falls

Corn and soybean sales were down from the prior week but were still relatively strong in the seven days through Dec. 15, according to data from the Department of Agriculture.

Corn sales totaled 1.25 million metric tons last week, down 18% from the prior week and 8% from the previous four-week average, the USDA said, but anything above a million tons is still pretty strong.

Japan was the biggest buyer, purchasing 535,800 metric tons, followed by Mexico, which took 372,200 tons. South Korea bought 125,000 tons, Chile took 89,000 tons and Saudi Arabia purchased 74,800 tons, the government said. Unknown buyers canceled a purchase of 176,400 tons and Egypt canceled a buy of 33,100 tons.

Soybean sales totaled 1.81 million tons, down 10% from the prior week but up 9% from the four-week average, according to the USDA.

China, as is normal, was the big buyer at 1.25 million tons, followed by Thailand’s 85,300 tons. Japan was next on the list at 66,600 tons, Taiwan bought 66,400 tons and France took 66,000 tons, according to the USDA.

Wheat sales came in at 297,800 tons, down 44% from the prior week and 47% from the four-week average. Nigeria was the big buyer at 101,700 tons, Mozambique and Indonesia both bought 42,000 tons, Japan purchased 41,700 tons and Mexico took 31,300 tons.

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3. Central, Northern Plains in For White Christmas, NWS Says

People in parts of the central Midwest and northern Plains who’ve been dreaming of a white Christmas may get their wish.

A winter weather advisory has been issued for much of the Midwest this morning as snow and wind are expected in parts of Nebraska, Iowa and Wisconsin, according to the National Weather Service. As much as 6 inches of snow are expected in the region along with 25-mile-an-hour winds that will reduce visibility and make travel dangerous, the NWS said.

Meanwhile, the northern Plains continues to get blasted by a winter storm.

Pretty much all of North Dakota is in a blizzard for the weekend as another foot of snow may fall in the state, according to the forecaster. “Very strong winds” will make travel extremely dangerous on Sunday and Monday, the report said.

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